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Book Fest LIVE: Mark Oppenheimer’s “Squirrel Hill”

October 10 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Book Fest LIVE: Mark Oppenheimer

Join us for an in-person Book Fest event live at the SJCC theater! We are excited to have our first live author talk at the J since 2019 as journalist and “Unorthodox Podcast” host Mark Oppenheimer discusses his powerful new book about the Tree of Life Synagogue tragedy and triumph.

“Deeply reported and elegantly written, this is a powerful portrait of grief and resilience.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

$10-15 Talk | FREE with book purchase ($30-35)
Event includes book signing and photos with author.
* This event will also be livestreamed for ticketed patrons. You’ll receive a link one hour before the event.

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About “Squirrel Hill”
“Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood” – A piercing portrait of the struggles and triumphs of one of America’s renowned Jewish neighborhoods in the wake of unspeakable tragedy that highlights the hopes, fears, and tensions all Americans must confront on the road to healing.

Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in the country, known for its tight-knit community of multigenerational families. On October 27, 2018, a gunman killed eleven Jews worshipping at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill–the most deadly anti-Semitic attack in American history.

Oppenheimer, who directs Yale University’s Journalism Initiative, spoke with residents and nonresidents, Jews and gentiles, survivors and witnesses, teenagers and seniors, activists and historians, and poignantly shifts the focus away from the criminal and his crime, and instead presents this historic, spirited community at the center of this heartbreaking tragedy.

Together, these stories provide a kaleidoscopic and nuanced account of collective grief, love, support, difficult dialogues, and the process of true growth and healing. He reverently captures the vibrancy and caring that still characterize Squirrel Hill, and it is this phenomenal resilience that can provide inspiration to any place burdened with discrimination and hate.

About the Author
Mark Oppenheimer directs the Yale Journalism Initiative and is a lecturer in Yale’s English department, political science department, and Divinity Schools. He received his B.A. and his Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale. He was the religion columnist for The New York Times from 2010 to 2016 and has written for The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Washington Post, Slate, Mother Jones, The Nation, and The Believer, among others. He has been a commentator on NPR and is also the host of Tablet magazine’s podcast, Unorthodox. He is the author of four books, including The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.


October 10
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Stroum JCC
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Stroum Jewish Community Center
3801 E Mercer Way
Mercer Island, WA United States
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